Higher Education

Picking The Right College Course Evaluation Software For You

College course evaluation software are systems designed to collect student feedback and assess different aspects of a college course. The data collected can be used to discover patterns and identify areas for improvement in the future. It also makes it easier to see what students like and dislike about a class so instructors can change or adjust their teaching strategies for the next semester. Research into educational improvement highly supports this continuous evaluation for student retention and student success.

College course evaluation software may be required by the school administration or other educational organization. However, depending on how specific your needs are, you might find that there is more than one college course evaluation software available that fits your criteria.

How to Choose a Course Evaluation Software

The first thing you should do before choosing any type of software program is to determine your reasons for needing it in the first place. Knowing why you need a college course evaluation software will help clarify which features are important to have in your program.

For example, you might need a college course evaluation software to help improve your curriculum for the semester or provide better reports to show how effective your teaching style is for this year. If either of these are the case, it’s important that you find a college course evaluation software with tools that can do both of these things.

On the other hand, if you only need an easy way to input student evaluations into your computer or online portfolio, then there are plenty of free programs available that may be sufficient enough for your needs.

Once you have determined what features are vital in choosing college course evaluation software, look at each piece of available software carefully before making any final decisions on which one will work best for you. Many programs offer a free trial download, so you can try each of them out before committing to one.

As the college course evaluation software industry is still relatively new, there are likely more features available in newer programs than older ones on the market. If you need something very specific done with your evaluations, make sure that any program you choose has this feature available. Otherwise it will be nearly useless for your needs.

Once you have found the right college course evaluation software that fits your needs and offers all of the features that matter to you, take advantage of its advanced options. You can use these tools to help showcase your institution’s progress over time by changing your previous evaluations into graphs and charts based on student input about their growth in understanding different concepts. This can be very helpful if you need to make changes in your teaching methods and your institution needs solid arguments for budget proposals.

Choosing The Right Course Evaluation Software

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a class feedback system, but most importantly it should be easy for students to find and use. Here are the most important questions you should ask before deciding on a program:

1. Device Compatibility

Do I want my students to complete their evaluations using smartphones or tablets? Most college course evaluation software allow students to upload individual forms from their phone or tablet as well as from desktop computers, which is great because now they’re not limited by what kind of computer they have.

2. Student Information System Integration

How will a college course evaluation software help faculty members determine which students are qualified to give feedback? Many systems require that students have at least a 70 percent attendance rate for the course, while others make it mandatory for them to be passing their class before they can offer feedback. Some online systems make students pass an automated test before they can successfully complete their evaluations; these tests ask questions that are directly related to the subject matter of the course.

3. Sofware Customer Support

What support options does my college course evaluation software offer? Some programs have a “help desk” or a hotline to call if you have questions about anything, and this is usually great. Others don’t. Make sure that the higher-ups in the program are accessible when you need them, whether it’s through email, live chat, phone calls or smoke signals from your dorm window.

4. Integration With Learning Management System

Do courses load automatically into my schedule? This is especially important if you have numerous courses assigned or are participating in a course rotation. Not all software programs offer this time-saving feature, so if it’s something you need, make sure your school’s chosen program provides it.

5. Feedback System

How do I provide feedback? How do students provide feedback? This is where students get to share their thoughts on how the class was taught and what they liked/disliked about it. If students can’t find an open text box to type in their thoughts, then this could be a problem. Can they post video content or images instead of just written comments? Are there question buttons for further clarification of things mentioned in the comment or video? Technical options like these should not only be compatible with the course curriculum but also encourage growth and change based on student responses. The design of your course evaluation software should be interactive enough to provide feedback that’s valuable to you.

Overview of Some of the Best Course Evaluation Software

We are going to review five of the top university course evaluation software available for use today.

  • Blue Course Evaluation Software by Explorance
  • Smart Evals Course Evaluation Software
  • Creatrix Campus
  • Watermark Course Evaluations and Surveys
  • Question Pro

Blue Course Evaluation Software by Explorance

Explorance offers an online course evaluation system called Blue Course Evaluation Software that allows instructors to collect and quickly view responses from their students. Faculty members can customize questions they ask according to what they want to understand about the student experience, and the software will generate a report of who is happy with all aspects of the course.

Key Features

  • Blue course evaluation software by Explorance ensures reports are distributed based on institutional hierarchy. As expected, course reports are only available after course grades have been released.
  • It is flexible enough to support differing start and end dates of the various courses offered by the college.
  • It incorporates a smart communication system for email invitations, reminders, notifications and the like
  • It boasts a seamless integration with Learning Management System (LMS) for quick and automated updates of new courses
  • The dashboard provides customizable reporting to the right stakeholders
  • With in-built text analytics, student feedback is able to be translated to quantifiable results
  • The Explorance software offers support for both paper and online course evaluations, a very useful feature during transitions for higher education institutions.

Reviews

The University of San Francisco, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Monash University and Indiana University are a few of the higher education institutions currently using Explorance’s system with delight.

Smart Evals Course Evaluation Software

Smart Evals is designed as an online feedback platform for instructors and students in any college-level course. The service also works to improve student success by giving them more opportunities for interaction with instructor and classmates, which helps foster deeper learning through reflection, collaboration, better communication skills, and stronger rapport between peers.

Feature Highlights

  • Smart Evals course evaluation software presents a focus on analytics to aid in the teaching and learning process. Its features follow a manage-engage-optimize-analyze framework.
  • The reporting incorporates an automated analysis of report distribution which is very useful for the teacher of each course
  • It offers automated dashboards with real time updates, since it is able to be synchronized with existing ERPs or SIS
  • Customer support is a key feature highlight
  • The inbuilt communication system supports automated email, text and voice call messaging 
  • It ensures seamless integration with learning management systems such as Ultra, Canvas, Blackboard Learn, and Ultra.

Reviews

Trenholm State University, Tuskegee University, East Mississippi Community College, Wentworth Institute of Technology and California Baptist University are some of the colleges and universities with glowing tributes to SmartEvals.

Creatrix Campus

Creatrix Campus is an easy way for faculty members around the world to set up simple course surveys. Creatrix Campus also helps instructors see how their students learn by visualizing the data they generate. Creatrix Campus presents its software solution as a great aid to the key stakeholders, the student, the IT administrator and school management, serving their respective course evaluation goals.

Reviews

A review from an IT professional from Gulf University emphasizes the stakeholder focus of the Creatrix Campus app.

Watermark Course Evaluations and Surveys

Watermark Course Evaluations and Surveys focuses on ease of response when collecting feedback from students and features easy-response options to promote higher response rates. It is a cloud-based course evaluation software that allows instructors to communicate with students and receive valuable feedback. Instructors can set up different types of surveys, such as Student Perception Survey, Communication Skills Assessment, Personal Development Inventory and others.

Key Features

It offers integration with existing learning management systems like Canva

The dashboard provides a 360-degree views with institutional surveys

Watermark offers data analytics to provide instant insights with no data entry required

Reviews

Howest University of Applies Sciences in a glowing review highlights the seamless integration the software provides with LMS without compromising the ease of requesting course evaluation through shared links.

Question Pro

Question Pro is a cloud-based course evaluation software that allows instructors to quickly and easily set up surveys, get feedback from students and give them instant results. Question Pro Online also has an open API which allows it to be integrated with other programs such as Moodle, Blackboard and many others.

Feature Highlights

  • Question Pro offers a focus on analytics and reporting required to inform course instructors. It provides role-based dashboards that are tailored to present data to the different stakeholders. Reports can be tailored to specific departments or campus-wide
  • Question Pro has integrations with LMS such as Moodle and Canva.
  • Student and course information can be imported seamlessly into the software via pre-poulated excel sheets

Reviews

North West University, University of Iceland and Technische Universität München are the primary universities and colleges that highlight how well this software has automated the course evaluation process while offering useful analytics and a complete digital experience.

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